Ford beats on third-quarter earnings but trims full-year profit guidance (F)
- Ford beat analysis expectations for its 3rd-quarter profit and saw a slight decline in revenue.
- Ford also trimmed in full-year profit guidance.
- The No. 2 US automaker is in the midst of an $11 billion restructuring.
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Ford turned in a good quarter, but it’s still dealing with significant challenges.
On Wednesday, Ford posted a lower quarterly profit as it took charges for its global restructuring, and reduced its full-year operating profit forecast due to higher warranty and incentive costs, as well as lower-than-expected sales in China.
Ford reported a third-quarter net profit of $425 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with $991 million, or 25 cents a share, a year earlier. The quarter included $1.5 billion in special charges, mostly for its global restructuring that included the formation of its Indian joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra.
Excluding one-time charges, Ford earned 34 cents a share, above the 26 cents analysts had expected according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Revenue in the quarter fell 2% to $37 billion, above the $33.98 billion expected.
Virtually all of Ford’s third-quarter pretax profit came from North America, where highly profitable pickup trucks drive margins. Ford said on Wednesday it now expects full-year adjusted operating profit in the range of $6.5 billion to $7 billion, compared with $7 billion last year. In July, it had forecast it would increase, ending in the range of $7 billion to $7.5 billion.
Ford also said it expects adjusted earnings this year in the range of $1.20 to $1.32 a share. Previously, the high end of its forecast had been $1.35.
In an interview with Business Insider, CFO Tim Stone stressed the company strategic outlook and focus on free-cash-flow growth to go along with consistent profitability. He called the guidance downgrade both encouraging because it doesn’t project a major decline in Ford’s margin, but he also said its was dissatisfying because it falls below Ford’s 2018 level.
“Q3 was a good quarter,” he said. “Year-to-date is good, as well, and shows the progress we’ve made. But we have a lot of work to do.”
Ford shares slid in aftermarket trading, down 3% to just below $8. Year-to-date, the stock had been up 20%.